Oct 31, 2008

Email Strategics - Step 4 - Broadcasting

Today, more than ever, sending emails is just half the job, you now have to make sure your email reaches the inbox of your contacts.
Half of this is choosing the right ESP or broadcasting solution. You really want to check the following before signing with a broadcasting solution:
- Does the platform support configurable retry and bounce time frames?
- What is the level of delivery granularity available (e.g. system sends x messages per second/minute/hour to support specific requirements of domains like Comcast)?
- How can delivery parameters be altered if receiving certain gateway-level SMTP responses?
- How reliable is the abuse desk
- Does the ESP have Complaints Feedback loops with the ISPs
- How complete are the reports (detailed reports per ISP, deliverability statistics, over time statistics,...)
- targeting options
- Online action triggered emails
- Post tracking possibilities
- Behavioral targeting options
All this features will help you manage your DB which is of course the second half of getting to the inbox (see step 1)
Indeed, to get through to the inbox you need a clean (if possible double optin) database, a good technical solution, a good IP reputation (that you will achieve over time if you match the email standards) and a correct HTML creative (you can check your creative quality with the Spam Assassin tool).

When you broadcast emails to a high number of profiles, you need to monitor the following:
Complaints, harbounces, softbounces, spam traps, inactive profiles, unsubscribe rates.
These elements will be, at the end of the day, what will make the difference between ending in the junk mail folder or reaching the inbox.
You also need to keep somewhere in mind that ISP have a good memory (around 60 days), if add a new list of profiles that either trigger a lot of complaints or hardbounces or Spam traps, you will probably impact your delivrability for weeks, even months.
That's why I always advise my clients, when adding a new list of profiles to their DB, to split this new volume and progressively adding it to the existing list.
This way, incidents will be minimized due to the low percentage of unknown profiles in the total volume of the broadcast.

A last advise would be creating a bunch of emails on the main Freemails/Webmails of your list and add them to each and every send out (starting of course with the tests).

Always remember as well to analyze how well your campaigns perform on each ISP (comparing open rates for example), if one or two are lagging behind, then probably, you are not delivering properly on these ISPs.

Email Strategics - Step 1 - Database
Email Strategics - Step 2 - Segmentation
Email Strategics - Step 3 - Email Creative
Email Strategics - Step 5 - Landing Page
Email Strategics - Step 6 - Analyzing statistics

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